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|Thule Air Station|
|Type||Air Force Station|
Thule Air Station (ADC ID: G-32) is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 9.2 miles (14.8 km) south of Thule Air Base, Greenland. It was closed in 1965.
The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces, and one of the seven American uniformed services. Initially formed as a part of the United States Army on 1 August 1907, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the U.S. Armed Forces on 18 September 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947. It is the youngest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the fourth in order of precedence. The USAF is the largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world. The Air Force articulates its core missions as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control.
Thule Air Base, or Thule Air Base/Pituffik Airport, is the United States Air Force's northernmost base, located 1,207 km (750 mi) north of the Arctic Circle and 1,524 km (947 mi) from the North Pole on the northwest coast of the island of Greenland.
Thule Air Station was constructed as a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) radar site at the World War II Bluie West-6 weather station in 1950 by Northeast Air Command (NEAC), in conjunction with the larger Thule Air Base, 9 miles to the north. Its mission was to detect intrusion of unknown aircraft and relay that information to the interceptor squadron at Thule Air Base. The 931st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron was assigned on 1 July 1952 by NEAC, and the station was declared operationally ready on 8 November 1952, the station (G-32) was equipped with AN/FPS-3, AN/FPS-4, AN/FPS-20A and AN/FPS-6 radars.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The Northeast Air Command (NEAC) was a short-lived organization in the United States Air Force tasked with the operation and defense of air bases in Greenland, Labrador and Newfoundland. It was formed in 1950 from the facilities of the United States established during World War II in Northeast Canada, Newfoundland and Greenland. It was discontinued in 1957.
To broaden its range, two additional manned sites were established. Etah Air Station (G-33, AKA "A-site") 144.5 miles (232.6 km) north-northwest, hosted Detachment 1, 921st AC&W Squadron, equipped with two AN/TPS-1D radars. Ice Cap Air Station (G-34, AKA "B-site"), 252.3 miles (406.0 km) north-northeast, hosted detachment 2, and was also equipped with two AN/TPS-1Ds.
The AN/TPS-1 Radar was an early warning and tactical control radar manufactured by Bendix Corporation used by the US Army. It was later used by the United States Air Force Air Defense Command, and a number of European armed forces.
The main station was logistically supported by Thule Air Base, and personnel assigned to the Radar Station would transport to and from the base, weather permitting. Duty at the station consisted of an "A" and a "B" shift of twelve hours each day, seven days a week. Personnel at the remote sites lived under the snow in metal structures connected by unheated hallways of steel corrugated tubes. When they did go outside it was through hatches in the ceilings to access auxiliary structures and the radar antennas. The locations of the stations, all north of the Arctic Circle, meant long periods without sunlight all day or with sunlight all day. The remote sites were supported by C-47 Skytrains equipped with skis, which would land on the hard-packed snow near the stations, providing logistical support and personnel transportation to and from Thule AB. Each remote site had a personnel complement of 20.
The Arctic Circle is one of the two polar circles and the most northerly of the five major circles of latitude as shown on maps of Earth. It marks the northernmost point at which the centre of the noon sun is just visible on the December solstice and the southernmost point at which the centre of the midnight sun is just visible on the June solstice. The region north of this circle is known as the Arctic, and the zone just to the south is called the Northern Temperate Zone.
Although the Air Force provided as much in terms of recreation facilities at the remote sites as was possible, the fact was that in the 1950s, the duty there was extremely isolated and hard on the airmen stationed there. Det 1 and Det 2 were closed in April 1957 when Air Defense Command took over the stations and inactivated the "A" and "B" sites.
The radar site closed on 24 December 1965, and was replaced by the 12th Missile Warning Squadron, with radars designed to monitor ICBM launches rather than aircraft coming over from the Soviet Union. The main station at Thule was torn down in 1985. The remote sites were abandoned and left to the Arctic elements.
Canadian Forces Station Saglek is a Canadian Forces Air Command radar base in the former Pinetree Line and currently part of the North Warning System, located near Saglek Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador. located 367.7 miles (591.8 km) north-northwest of CFB Goose Bay.
Dickinson Air Force Station is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 3.8 miles (6.1 km) northeast of Dickinson, North Dakota. It was closed in 1965.
The Goose Air Defense Sector (GADS) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with the 26th Air Division, being stationed at Goose Air Force Base, Labrador, Canada. It was inactivated on 1 April 1966 and replaced by the 37th Air Division.
The 4734th Air Defense Group is a discontinued United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with the 64th Air Division (AD) at Thule Air Base, Greenland, where it was discontinued in 1958. The group was formed in 1957 when ADC assumed responsibility for air defense of Greenland from Northeast Air Command. It controlled a fighter-interceptor squadron at Thule and a squadron operating a radar at nearby Pingarsuak Mountain. It was discontinued in 1958 and its mission transferred to the 64th AD in Newfoundland.
The 4683d Air Defense Wing is a discontinued United States Air Force (USAF) organization. Its last assignment was with Aerospace Defense Command (ADC)'s Goose Air Defense Sector at Thule Air Base, Greenland, where it was discontinued in 1965.
Calumet Air Force Station is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 5.2 miles (8.4 km) east-southeast of Phoenix, Michigan. It was closed in 1988 by the Air Force, and turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Cut Bank Air Force Station is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 30.4 miles (48.9 km) northwest of Cut Bank, Montana. It was closed in 1965.
Manassas Air Force Station is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 7.4 miles (11.9 km) west of Dale City, Virginia. It was closed in 1965.
Brunswick Air Force Station is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 2.5 miles (4.0 km) east-southeast of Brunswick, Maine. It was closed in 1965.
Snow Mountain Air Force Station is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 1.9 miles (3.1 km) west-southwest of Godman Army Airfield, Kentucky. It was closed in 1968.
Omaha Air Force Station is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 7.5 miles (12.1 km) north of Omaha, Nebraska. It was closed in 1968.
Chandler Air Force Station is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is 2.2 miles (3.5 km) south of Chandler, Minnesota, on the Buffalo Ridge in section 13 of Moulton Township, Murray County. It was closed in 1969.
Cambria Air Force Station is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 3 miles (4.8 km) south-southeast of Cambria, California. It was closed in 1980.
Burns Air Force Station is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 5.2 miles (8.4 km) west-southwest of Burns, Oregon. It was closed in 1974.
Cottonwood Air Force Station is a former United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. The radar site was located at the summit of Cottonwood Butte, 5.7 miles (9.2 km) west-northwest of Cottonwood in Idaho County, Idaho. It was closed in 1965 and transferred to the state of Idaho in 1974, when it was converted to its present use as a minimum-security correctional facility.
Hopedale Air Station is a General Surveillance Radar station that the USAF closed in 1968. It is located north of the community of Hopedale, Newfoundland and Labrador 147.8 miles (237.9 km) west-northwest of CFB Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Saint Anthony Air Station is a closed General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 292.5 miles (470.7 km) north-northwest of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It was closed in 1968.
CFS Resolution Island (BAF-5) is a short-range radar site. It is located 593 miles (954 km) north-northwest of CFB Goose Bay, Labrador. It is part of the North Warning System. During the Cold War, it was operated as part of the Pinetree Line network controlled by NORAD.
Canadian Forces Station Beaverlodge is a closed General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 4.9 miles (7.9 km) east-northeast of Beaverlodge, Alberta. It was closed in 1988.
Canadian Forces Station Baldy Hughes is a closed General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 22.3 miles (35.9 km) south-southwest of Prince George, British Columbia. It was closed in 1988.